Facets of Faith: public speaking professional


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

While it’s a dreaded activity for most, I can’t relate: public speaking is fun.

Anyone who knows me is keenly aware of the fact that I love to talk. I will talk about any and everything, from strongly structured arguments to silly opinions. I mean, who doesn’t love a good conversation? I can provide those, free of charge. 

Seriously, I should get paid to speak. I’d be an amazing talk show host.

That being said, it’s so easy for me to do. Getting up in front of a crowd doesn’t scare me, because realistically, what is there for me to be afraid of? No one is going to pelt me with tomatoes (at least I hope no one is going to pelt me with tomatoes? That’d be a whole new level of self esteem dampening). If I fumble, I soldier on. Maybe it’s a bit challenging if you don’t know what you’re presenting, but it’s pretty rare that you are completely unaware of what you’re talking about in front of an audience.

Now, if I were speaking in front of people that meant a lot to me, that’d be a different story. But I’ve never had one of those classic gut wrenching, sweat producing, flustered-and-panicked-to-the-core episodes before a speech or presentation. 

It usually goes like this: Faith. It’s your turn to speak in front of the class/audience.

Me: Alright. Cool, I guess.

And that’s about it. There’s this neutral wave of emotion that dawns on me, especially if I’m generally indifferent towards the topic. I won’t lie and say that I’ve never thought about the things that could go wrong, but in all honesty, it’s better to focus on all the things that could go right. 

Personally, I present in three ways: the first being in the structure of a conversation, with calm energy and a factor of relatability, usually gained via interaction with my listeners. It’s fun, because conversing is something you do every day. You can get through a conversation! And then there’s method two: like you’re trying to explain an idea to a figure of authority. Less casual, more conscious of how you phrase things and present yourself, but ultimately, not all that different from method numero uno. And three: like I am accepting the Nobel Peace Prize or an Academy award. Put on the best performance of your life, whether it be comedic, dramatic or informative. Say what you have to say with confidence and conviction.

And if you’re anything like me, incorporate all three into regular everyday conversation. It’s hilarious to watch people try to follow your tone shifts, and a good half of my conversations are me trying to entertain myself, so it happens a lot.

Speaking isn’t relatively easy for everyone, I’m not dense enough to believe that it’s something that people can just do, especially in a public setting. But it gets easier with time, and as silly as it sounds, the best way to get through it is to just do it. Know what you need to say, how to say it, and deliver, even if the audience is tough, even if the topic isn’t a fan favorite. Act like you’re best friends with who you’re speaking to. Act like you’re talking about your core interest/hobby. Trust me, if someone got me started on cartoons, especially cartoons released within the last twenty years, they’d have to drag my rigid body off the stage. I wouldn’t be able to stop, and I’m sure that your favorite subject can get you chattering too.

All in all, do your best, and it’ll become a little less dreadful.